Abuja – The Federal Government has purchased new equipment to strengthen the capability of Nigerian military and security agents in the fight against insurgents in the country.
The FCT Minister of State, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide, made this known to a group of women and youths who were protesting against the activities of Boko Haram in Abuja on Wednesday.
Akinjide said government had the will, resources and the strategies to win the war against Boko Haram and terrorism in the country.
She said some of the equipment delivered to government included highly sophisticated helicopter fighters with in-built night vision technology.
The minister added that the helicopter has a clear edge in weapons and reconnaissance capabilities.
Akinjide recalled the major breakthrough recorded by the Nigerian military in the war against terrorism and the capture of many senior Boko Haram commanders used as spies.
She also noted the arrest of Sadiq Ogwuche, one of the masterminds of the April 14, 2014 bombing of Nyanya Bus Stop, where several people were killed and others injured.
Akinjide said Ogwuche, also accused of leading recruitment efforts of Boko Haram, was recently extradited from Sudan where he was arrested.
She told the protesters that Boko Haram’s Chief of Intelligence had been picked up. “Mohammed Zakari, the ‘Chief Butcher’ of the group, had also been picked up during a raid in Balmo forest.’’
Akinjide said recent threat against the Abuja transportation system was uncovered while the public was alerted and casualties avoided.
“Following a tip-off, Nigerian Police uncovered and prevented a bomb attack near a school in Gombe, the capital of Gombe state,’’ she said.
Akinjide further said that government recognised that soft power was crucial in the battle against Boko Haram, adding that security agents alone would not be able to defeat insurgency.
She said government was also working with state governors, community leaders, teachers and parents to identify and remedy the vulnerabilities that put Nigerian children at risk.
On the role of diplomacy, she said government had received support internationally, particularly the international bring back our girls (blog) campaign that had motivated global attention.
She stressed that the African Union and African countries had demonstrated stronger commitment to supporting Nigeria in the fight.
The minister said government would ensure that the abducted Chibok girls remained within Nigeria having known where they are for eventual rescue.
“This will go with a lot of planning, evaluation and assessment of the prevailing situation within the general mission area, in line with international best practices.
“The federal government will never play politics with the life of its citizens, including the abducted Chibok girls’’, Akinjide said.
The three-day protest took place at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
It was organised to mark the 100 days of the abduction of over 200 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno.
The National Council of Women Societies, Gender Support for Women Emancipation Development and Kasuwa da Kasuwa were part of the protest.
Others were Lady Chy New World Order Foundation, Concerned Mothers Association of Nigeria, Hausa Community, and National Association of Nigerian Students, among others. (NAN)